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MOROCCO Group 2 – Summer

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From$1,330
Price
From$1,330
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July 17, 2020
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10528
  • Hotels: Standard Class
  • Max Participants: 14
  • 15 Days / 14 Nights

Wander through kasbahs, spice markets, and cities pulsing with energy on this comprehensive Morocco trip. Climb onto a camel and explore the edge of the Sahara before admiring the views from the heights of the Atlas Mountains. Experience the energy of imperial cities as you explore souks stuffed with exotic wares. Then take a moment to appreciate an amazing adventure as you camp under the stars among some of the world’s largest sand dunes.

 

For this program GEEO will be partnering with the Center for Middle Eastern & North African Studies at the University of Michigan (UM)-Ann Arbor. On the trip will be Rima Hassouneh, Outreach Coordinator. She will enrich the educational components of this program, helping participants to contextualize and reflect upon what they are seeing and learning. Rima is a native of the Middle East. For twenty years she taught diverse subjects, including Arabic language and culture, and Arab and Muslim American Studies at UM-Ann Arbor. She has extensive international-education experience, including leading study-abroad trips to Palestine and Israel.

What's Included:
  • Tangier guided tour
  • Volubilis Roman ruins guided tour
  • Fes Medina guided tour
  • Sahara Desert excursion with camel ride
  • Todra Gorge stay with walk through local villages
  • Aït Ben Haddou Kasbah visit
  • Mountain Gîte stay with traditional Moroccan meal
  • Marrakech medina guided walk
  • G Adventures Tour Leader throughout and local guides
  • Hotels (13 nts), gîte (1 nt, multi-share)
  • 14 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 dinners (Allow USD $390-$510 for meals not included)
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities by private air-con van, camel, walking
What's Not Included:
  • International air travel
  • Incidentals
  • Travel health and cancellation insurance
  • Applicable visas
  • Tips or gratuities
  • Airport taxes
  • Beverages
  • Meals not mentioned in itinerary
  • Optional tours and admission tickets
  • Airport transfers
Itinerary

Day 1: CasablancaArrive at any time.

Today is arrival day and, as travelers are arriving from all corners of the world, there are no planned activities. You are free to arrive in Casablanca at anytime. Hotel check in is 2 p.m., and luggage storage is available if you arrive before your room is ready.

Please note, this tour does not spend any time in Casablanca. You may wish to come a day early in order to explore Casablanca’s small medina, beachfront, and classic examples of Art Deco architecture. Be sure to also visit the spectacular Hassan II Mosque. Entrance is only permitted via guided tours, which operate from Saturday to Thursday (closed Fridays) at 09:00, 10:00, 11:00, and 14:00. Please refer to the optional activity section of these notes for prices. Please double check times with your hotel as they are subject to change, especially around Ramadan.

In the early evening you will meet your tour leader and fellow group members for an important group meeting. Check the hotel notice board (or ask reception) for the exact time and location of this meeting. Afterwards, there will be the option to head out for a meal together in nearby in a local restaurant. If you arrive late, your group leader will leave you a message at the front desk.

Day 2: Casablanca/Tangier/Chefchaouen (B)Stop in Tangier for a guided tour of the medina, continue on to Chefchaouen for the evening.

Depart in the morning by private van for Tangier. Take a guided tour of the city including: the medina; kasbah; Grand Socco, a bustling square at the entrance to the medina; and Petit Socco, a little square in the medina perfect for people-watching and mint tea-drinking. In the afternoon, continue on to Chefchaouen.

Tangier is an exotic mix of influences, located at the northern tip of Morocco. With culture, cuisine, and language coming from North Africa, Spain, Portugal, and France, this bustling port city is unique and fascinating.

Chefchaouen is a gorgeous mountain town in northern Morocco. It is often skipped when travelling the standard route around Morocco but is truly one of the most special places to visit. Set in the Rif Mountains, this town’s white-washed buildings with blue accents make it one of the most picturesque places in the country. Known as the Blue City, the distinctive blue color was added by the city’s Jewish population who lived there as refugees in the 1930s. The main square is lined with cafés and shops selling handicrafts that are often not available elsewhere in the country.

Approximate travel time: 5 hrs (Casablanca to Tangier) by private vehicle; 2 hrs (Tangier to Chefchaouen) by private vehicle

Day 3: Chefchaouen (B)Opt to hike in the Rif Mountains, explore the town, try a traditional hammam, or visit a local weavers' cooperative.

Enjoy a free day in Chefchaouen to explore. The city, whitewashed in different shades of blue, is spectacular on its own but with the surrounding mountains, it’s a sight to behold. Options to hike in the Rif Mountains, visit a Hammam (Roughly $22), visit a local weavers’ cooperative (Free), and explore the town.

Day 4: Chefchaouen/Meknes/Volubilis/Fès (B, L)Enjoy a G Adventures-supported traditional lunch before taking a guided tour of the ancient Roman ruins of Volubilis. Continue on to Fès.

We leave Chefchaouen and drive to Meknes where we visit a Planeterra-supported traditional lunch program that benefits rural Moroccan women and children. The proceeds from this lunch help support access to education opportunities and health care services, including vocational training for rural women to work from home so they can support their families and children . Enjoy a traditional home-cooked Moroccan meal and learn a bit of Arabic while you meet some of the women who are part of this program.

In the afternoon we make our way through the rolling hills for a guided visit of the impressive Volubilis, the best preserved Roman ruins in this part of Northern Africa. Once an important Roman town, the site is situated near the westernmost border of the Roman Empire. In 1997, UNESCO listed Volubilis as a World Heritage Site. Wandering through the deserted streets where chariots once passed, you can envision the vibrance the town once had. Listen to your certified local guide explain about life in the Roman Empire as you peer into old bathhouses, marveling at the still-present mosaic floors and gazing up at the towering marble pillars.

We leave the Roman Empire to make our way to Fès. We will be staying in the new city of Fès, built by the French during their Protectorate of Morocco. This area has the feel of a French provincial town with its cafés, restaurants, and wide boulevards.

Approximate travel time: 4.5 hrs (Chefchaouen to Meknes); 45 mins (Meknes to Volubilis); 2 hrs (Volubilis to Fès)

Day 5: Fès (B)Explore the labyrinth of streets within the famous Fès medina with a local guide. Marvel at one of the ancient tanneries and take in the view from above.

Enjoy a half-day medina walking tour, followed by a free afternoon to explore more of the city.

The Fès medina is the world’s largest medina with over 9,000 winding streets lying within 365 hectares. Buildings within the medina date back to the 9th century. During the 11th century, Fès was one of the largest cities in the world. There are 350 mosques in the medina where devout Muslims pray five times a day as a part of the five pillars of Islam.

We enter through one of the great gates into the chaotic, confusing melee that is the Fès medina. We explore the medina’s many artisans’ quarters, such as the brass, copper, and wedding adornment souks. Carpenters, bakers, butchers, and spice sellers have their own area of the medina. A highlight is a visit to the famous Fès tannery, where we have great views from a panoramic viewpoint over the men hard at work treating and dying the different hides.

In the evening, opt for dinner in a converted riad complete with local specialties, music, and belly dancing.

(Please note: Only certified local Fès guides are allowed to guide in the medina, so for the free day your tour leader, who is a national certified guide, cannot accompany you here but will be able to help you find a local guide, if you wish. Of course, you can also just wander at your leisure!)

Day 6: Fès/Merzouga (B,D)Enjoy a long, but beautiful, travel day across the unique landscape of Morocco to get to the sand dunes of the Sahara Desert.

Today we have a full travel day through the diverse landscapes that make Morocco so unique. As you pass through cedar and pine forests, keep an eye out for Barbary apes. Pass over the Middle Atlas Mountains through the pre-desert countryside with its deep gorges filled with splendid oasis of green palm groves, finally arriving at the sand dunes of the Sahara Desert.

We spend the night in a desert auberge (simple hotel), located right on the edge of the dunes. Here we will have dinner local-style and spend the night. Please note: some rooms may have shared bathroom facilities at the desert auberge.

Approximate travel time: 10-11 hrs, including stops

Day 7: Merzouga (B,D)In the morning, explore the sand dunes by foot or opt to take a 4x4 safari. In the late afternoon, enjoy a camel ride to watch the sunset before returning to our hotel.

Today is free until we head out on our camel safari in the late afternoon. Perhaps spend the cool of the morning exploring the undulating golden sands of the dunes, simply relax by the pool, or read a book in the cool communal couch area. We also offer an optional activity of a 4×4 safari into the sand dunes of the Sahara Desert. Ask your tour leader for more details and current price of this exciting adventure.

In the afternoon, take a camel ride deep into the dunes to watch the sunset. Your local guides will teach you how to mount and dismount and other handy camel-related safety tips. Be sure to get them to teach you the trick of tying your turban to keep the desert sun off your face and add a little flare to your photos.

In the evening, we return towards Merzouga to our hotel on the edge of the dunes to indulge in a traditional dinner under the stars, cooked by your hosts. Listen to stories about life in this region and, perhaps, some traditional music on the drums.

Approximate travel time: 1 hr by camel.

Day 8: Merzouga/Todra Gorge (B)Rise early for a camel ride to watch the sunrise. Walk through local village farmlands before exploring the cliff-sided canyons of the mighty Todra Gorge.

We rise early for a camel ride to watch the sunrise. Continue by bus to Tinehrir and into the Todra Valley. Enjoy a walk in the lush palm groves and learn more about local life in this region, including which crops are grown and how the land is farmed. You may even be lucky to taste some of the fruit in season straight from the source.

Head to the stunning Todra Gorge, we spend the night in this beautiful and peaceful area. The Todra River has carved out cliff-sided canyons through the mountains with the final 300 m of the gorge being the most spectacular as the canyon narrows to a flat stony track as little as 10 m wide in places with sheer and smooth rock walls up to 160 m high on each side.

Today the Todra River looks more like a stream as it runs its way through the gorge, with hotels and restaurants huddled against the steep walls. It is easy to walk through the gorge, as there is a well-maintained dirt road to walk along. The scenery is spectacular.

While staying in a hotel nestled in between the sheer cliffs of the gorge, you will have the chance to enjoy a relaxing evening indulging in local Berber cuisine. Please note that due to location, the hotel power is run by a generator that is turned off every night at approximately 11:00 p.m. We recommend bringing a headlamp for getting around at night, if necessary.

Approximate travel time: 4-6 hrs, including stops.

Day 9: Todra Gorge/Aït Ben Haddou (B)Visit the Aït Ben Haddou Kasbah, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Opt to participate in a tagine cooking class for an intro to Moroccan cuisine.

This morning, we continue along the “Route of a 1,000 Kasbahs” to Ouarzazate where we will take our lunch break.

We continue on to the village of Aït Ben Haddou, a wonderful example of a collection of kasbahs (a type of fortress). Tour the UNESCO World Heritage site and Kasbah of Aït Ben Haddou with your tour leader. Of all the remaining kasbahs in Morocco, the walls and interior of this area are the most intact. The Kasbah still houses a few families, but many now live in the adjacent village. Like many of the earthen built fortresses in Ouarzazate, Aït Ben Haddou has been used in many film and television productions like Gladiator, Babel, and Game of Thrones.

In the evening, there may be the chance for an optional cooking class. Learn the secrets of how to make the perfect tagine and then sample your skills for your dinner. Once at home, you can impress your friends with your culinary skills!

Approximate travel time: 5-6 hrs, including stops

Day: 10 Aït Ben Haddou/Aroumd (B,D)Enjoy a hike to the village of Aroumd, at the base of the High Atlas Mountains. Let a mule carry the bags up to this mountain hideaway and hike alongside. Enjoy views of Mt. Toubkal from the mountain gîte before a home-cooked dinner.

We leave the pre-desert country for the magnificent High Atlas Mountains landscape, crossing the Tizi n’Tichka pass at 2260 m, before heading into the splendid Toubkal National Park. We pass through small villages on winding mountain roads, arriving at the village of Imlil. With our main luggage transported by mule, we embark on the walk from Imlil to the little village of Aroumd (1 to 1.5 hrs), arriving at our simple mountain gîte for the night.

While the walk to the gîte is uphill, we will take it at a slow pace, and it is achievable by anyone of average fitness. Some participants have recommended hiking poles for those with knee issues. Accommodation is multi-share, up to 6 beds in each room. Bedding is provided. You will also need to bring your own bath towel. Bathroom facilities are shared.

Tonight we enjoy a homemade dinner of local produce in the cozy salon. Settle in and enjoy the tranquility, fantastic views, and clean mountain air of this magical region.

Approximate travel time: 5 hrs (Ait Ben Haddou to Imlil) by private vehicle; 1 hr (Imlil to Aroumd) on foot

Day: 11 Aroumd/Essaouira (B)Walk back to Imlil and transfer to the coastal town of Essaouira. The day is free for exploration.

After breakfast, we’ll walk back out to meet our transport in Imlil and head to the coastal town of Essaouira, arriving in the mid-afternoon and leaving you free time to explore.

Approximate travel time: 1 hr (Aremd to Imlil) on foot; 5 hrs (Imlil to Essaouira), including stops, by private vehicle

Day 12: Essaouira (B)Enjoy a free day exploring this coastal port town any way you like.

Today is free to browse the many shops for the many crafts on sale, watch the brightly painted ships bring their catch into the busy harbor, or take a stroll along the long, sandy beach. It’s a perfect place to enjoy some local seafood and unwind. You might even like to enjoy some of the wide variety of activities on offer such as wind surfing and horse riding. Your tour leader can arrange camel riding on the beach in Essaouira for you. Please ask them for more details, if you are interested.

Day 13: Essaouira/Marrakech (B)Drive to Marrakech for a medina tour with a certified city guide. Opt to visit Djemaa el Fna Square in the evening to see the musicians and street performers that gather there.

In the morning, we continue our journey to Marrakech. Once arriving in the red city join your certified city guide for a tour of the Marrakech medina. Visit the historical Koutoubia Minaret and gardens, Bahia Palace, the Mellah, and the Saadian Tombs. Take note as your guide takes you through some of the local souks with their narrow, winding streets. Once the tour is finished, you are free to discover the secrets of this amazing, ancient city at your leisure. Once you’ve tired yourself out, relax at one of the tea houses around the square, indulging in the ubiquitous sweet mint tea and watching the hustle and bustle from your shady spot.

Approximate travel time: 3 hrs by private vehicle

Day 14: Marrakech (B)Enjoy a final free day to explore.

Today is a free day to explore. A great place to start your adventure is Djemaa el Fna square, in the heart of the medina. The square changes its offerings throughout the day. In the morning, you can wander past the fresh orange juice stalls, water sellers in colorful costumes with traditional leather water bags, brass cups, and snake charmers reminiscent of an era past.

As the day progresses the snake charmers are replaced by Chleuh dancing-boys, story-tellers, magicians, and peddlers of traditional medicines. As the sun sets, the square fills with dozens of food stalls, packed with locals and the entertaining chefs and waiters. Grab a spot on a bench with the other diners and try the Tanjia (slow cooked lamb), Harira soup, grilled seafood, famous Moroccan couscous, tajine, snails, or even sheep’s head for the truly adventurous. Wash it all down with some spiced tea.

To really get a taste of everyday life in Marrakech, head into the maze of tiny streets and alleyways of the ancient medina. Tourists and locals alike will find everything they desire in the souks, whether it’s spices, traditional jalabas and slippers, or famous Moroccan lanterns, the selection here is exhaustive, and don’t forget to bargain, it’s definitely part of the fun. Perhaps end the day like a local with an optional group dinner in the famous food stalls of Djemaa el Fna.

Day 15: Marrakech (B)Depart Marrakech at any time.

You are free to depart at any time today. Please note that check-out time from the hotel is normally mid-morning, but luggage storage facilities are available.

This program ends in Marrakech. Most international flights depart out of Casablanca. Make sure that you arrange your flights correctly. Keep in mind that there are flights from Marrakech to Casablanca as well as a train that runs a few times a day and that takes 3.5 hours.

Want more adventure? Book two or more GEEO trips in the same year and receive a discount! GEEO will give you 10% off of the lesser value program(s) (up to 3 programs).

If you don’t see a program that interests you that pairs with this trip but still would like to extend your time abroad, let us know. We will work with you to find a non-teacher trip from our tour operator’s much larger catalog. Even better, if you are an educator we can still offer you a discounted price on the trip you choose!

Details
Frequently Asked Questions

Please click here to go to our general FAQ, which has essential information that applies to all of our programs.

 
Resources to Learn & Teach about Morocco

Visit our recommended reading page to see the list of books GEEO recommends reading before your program (this is not required reading). We also have lesson plans and Pinterest boards that may be useful for you as you learn about your destination and prepare to bring lessons back to your classroom. 

 

Terms and Conditions

It is very important for you to visit our Terms and Conditions page before signing up for this program.

 
Cancellation policy

All cancellations must be submitted to GEEO in written form by emailing your request for cancellation to travel@geeo.org. If you do not receive a confirmation that we have received your written cancellation request, please call us at 1-877-600-0105. Verbal cancellation requests will not be honored.

  • If you cancel 60 days or more prior to departure, all your program fee payments will be refunded besides your $350 deposit which is kept on file for future use
  • If you cancel between 30 and 59 days prior to departure, you will receive a 50% refund and your deposit is kept on file for future use
  • If you cancel within 30 days of departure, you will receive no refund, but your deposit is kept on file for future use
 
Trip Notes
  1. PACE: This is a fast paced itinerary which covers a lot of ground in the available time, but it also means some early starts, some long drives in the minivan, and less free time than many other GEEO programs. We feel that, if you enter this trip with this knowledge and expectation, you will appreciate even more the variety of locations we are able to include in this itinerary.
  2. TRANSPORT: We use a 16-seater minivan for this tour. With a full group, every seat will be used. The legroom in the minivan is possibly smaller than you may be used to and taller passengers may find space a little cramped. It is important to be aware that as it is not a legal requirement in buses in Morocco: your vehicle may not be equipped with seat belts. While the minivans have air conditioning, summer temperatures in Morocco can easily reach over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. As such, when the outside temperature is so hot, a minibus air conditioning system will not be able to cool the bus to the temperatures you may be used to enjoying at home. Please bear in mind that traveling in Morocco in summer will inevitably involve very hot temperatures and you may experience some discomfort when traveling.
  3. CAMEL RIDE: Please note, you can skip the camel rides if you wish and hang out at our hotel or the nearby sand dunes.
  4. GETTING HOME: This program ends in Marrakech. Most international flights depart out of Casablanca. Make sure that you arrange your flights correctly. Keep in mind there are flights from Marrakech to Casablanca as well as a train that runs a few times a day and takes 3.5 hours.
  5. CLOTHING: To avoid unwanted attention in rural areas, dressing modestly is advised for parts of Morocco. A general rule of thumb for women in rural areas is to keep your shoulders and knees covered up. It is fine to dress dress how you like in Fes, Sahara, and Marrakech, but keep in mind, less exposed flesh is less attention.
  6. SMALL CHANGE: For bathrooms you will need small bills, like 1 or 2 Dirham. We recommend visiting a bank early on in the trip and exchanging larger bills for small bills so you always have small change handy.
 
Group Leader Description

All GEEO/G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of G Adventure’s group leaders, which they refer to as Chief Experience Officers (CEO). The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are traveling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues, and introduce you to our local friends. Our itineraries often have plenty of free time to explore on your own.

While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting – we think it’s the best of both worlds.

 
Fitness Level

Trip includes light walking and hiking that is suitable for most fitness levels. The roughest parts are the optional Rif Mountains hike and the ascent to the mountain gîte. There should be a van or donkey that can help get you to the gîte, but avoid the Rif hike if you aren’t in very good shape. The camel riding is pretty easy, but thicker pants are recommended.

 
Single Travelers

Half of the people that travel with GEEO are traveling by themselves, so please don’t worry if you have no one who can join you on your trip. Our pricing is based on double occupancy, in other words, two people to a room. You never have to pay for a single room unless you want one. GEEO can find you a roommate of the same gender. Most of our trips have a “My Own Room” option, also known as a “Single Supplement,” which is an extra fee that will allow you to have a room to yourself. If you want to room alone, please email travel@geeo.org. To see the price for the “My Own Room” option, please click here where you can look up your trip in the extra services spreadsheet.

Please note that if you have booked the “My Own Room” option for this tour, you will receive your own single accommodation for all night stops, with the following exceptions: Day 6 and 7 (desert hotel), Day 10 (simple mountain gite).

Joining Instructions

Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned. Upon arrival to the city on Day 1 (or earlier if you have booked pre-accommodation with us), please make your way to the joining hotel (note that check-in time will be in the afternoon). Once you arrive at the hotel, look for a note at reception from your tour leader. This note will give the details of your Welcome Meeting on Day 1 (usually between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.), where you will get a chance to meet your tour leader and other travelers, as well as learn more about how the tour will run. If you don’t see a note, please ask reception for details!

If you miss the Welcome Meeting, your tour leader will leave a note at reception for you with any information you may need and with instructions for the next morning.

If you have pre-arranged an arrival transfer, please look for the driver holding a G Adventures sign outside of the airport building of Terminal 1. Please approach them and ask them who they are supposed to be picking up (do not tell them your name, they should have this information already). Once they give you the correct name, have your passport ready to show them, and you will be on your way!

Alternatively you can take a taxi from the airport entrance, which will take approximately 1 hour (35 km), to the hotel. The cost is around 300 Moroccan Dirham.

 
Emergency Contacts

Should you need to contact G Adventures during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call their local G Adventures office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

G Adventures Operator – Morocco

Open 5 days a week, Monday to Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. local time (GMT).

During Office hours : +212 (0)528 824898

After hours emergency number: +212 (0)661 429700

G Adventures Local Office London, UK

Emergency number: +44 7817 262559

If you are unable for any reason to contact G Adventures’ local office, they have a toll-free line within North America which will connect you directly with their Toronto office: 1 888 800 4100

 
Packing List

Please read this article on GEEO’s blog for our staff’s suggestions on the best gear to pack for your upcoming travels. You must be prepared to carry your own bags and be comfortable carrying them up and down stairs, on and off transportation, and to hotels. As a rule, we try not to have to walk more than 15-20 minutes with your bags, which is why we recommend keeping the weight of your bags between 22-30 lb. Most travelers carry a backpack or rolling bag of small to medium size. (No XXL ones please!) A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person plus a daypack per person.

Suggested Checklist
  • Fleece top
  • Light windproof/waterproof jacket (Chances are it won’t rain much)
  • Sun hat
  • Personal clothing for mild to hot weather (t-shirts, shorts, etc.); for women, we recommend clothing that covers knees and shoulders.
  • Daypack
  • Sturdy walking shoes
  • Sport sandals or flip-flops
  • Sunblock
  • Sunglasses
  • Watch or alarm clock
  • Clothes for religious sites – knees and shoulders must be covered
  • Flashlight (If your smartphone has one you can use that)
  • Toiletries (Your hotels will have soap and shampoo)
  • Camera
  • First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, aspirin, bandaids, anti-histamine, Dramamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, electrolyte powder, insect repellent, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
Optional Checklist
  • Bathing suit
  • Light weight silk sleep sheet
  • Travel pillow
  • Money belt
  • Water bottle
  • Phone/Tablet for internet (Most hotels have WiFi)
  • Chargers for electronics as well as converters/adapters, if needed
  • Packing cubes (These are awesome)
  • Ear Plugs (These are a life-saver if you have a snoring roommate)
  • Snacks (Packing a few granola bars is a good idea. You can buy snacks when you get there too, so don’t go crazy here.)
  • Ziplock bags for wet clothing
  • Reading/writing material
  • Hand sanitizer/Baby wipes
Document Checklist
  • Passport (with photocopies)
  • Travel insurance (with photocopies)
  • Airline tickets (with photocopies)
  • EUR/USD cash
  • Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
  • G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information, and dossier
  • Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
  • GEEO Classroom action plans for your group (This is sent 10-30 days before departure)
 
Laundry

Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge or ask your group leader where the nearest laundromat is. If you want to do your own laundry, we suggest you bring your own non-polluting/biodegradable soap.

 
Passports and Visas

All GEEO trips require that the participant have a valid passport.  Please see our general FAQ for information on obtaining a passport. As with all of our trips, we try to provide the most accurate information we can, but governments sometimes change visa rules. It is your responsibility to double check the information we provide below by searching here.

Americans do not need to purchase a visa for travel to Morocco. Non-American participants should check with their government to find out if they need a visa.

 
Money Exchange

The local currency in Morocco is the Moroccan Dirham (MAD).

ATMs are found within main cities in Morocco and will generally accept debit cards on the Visa and Mastercard networks. It is a great idea to travel with both a Visa and Mastercard if at all possible as, while there is no hard and fast rule, some banks seem to only work with one brand of card. Please note, your bank will charge a fee for overseas withdrawals.

Cash is recommended for times when ATMs are not accessible. Euros are almost a second currency in Morocco, while British Pounds and U.S. Dollars are also easy to exchange into Moroccan Dirhams (MAD). Please note: while you should bring some cash with you for emergency situations, carrying cash only is a high safety risk. Money on ATM card/s and some cash is the ideal mix.

Cash advances can also be made with some banks but are time-consuming and tend to have high fees attached. Credit cards are, in general, not very useful in Morocco – they can be used at some larger stores if shopping for big items.

If you are bringing U.S. Dollars, please make sure that the notes are new and in good condition. Any notes older than 1996 or with any tears or blemishes may not be accepted. Be fussy with your bank. Ask for new bills!

As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com

 
Tipping

Morocco has a strong tipping culture – it is customary and even expected to tip small service providers such as restaurant and bar waiters, hotel staff, reception, cleaning personnel, bell boys, and taxi and van drivers.

Tips are regarded as an essential means of supplementing income for those working in the tourism industry. Even though this might not be customary to you, nor common practice in your home country, it is generally expected and of great significance to the people who will be assisting you during your travels.

Depending on your preference and/or that of the group, you may choose to tip individually, organize the tipping with your traveling companions, or your Tour Leader will offer to collect the tip money at the beginning of your tour and tip as a group with your participation as the tour progresses. A recommendation for tipping small service providers is about $3 U.S. Dollars per day, depending on the quality of the service (this does not include your G Adventures Tour Leader).

Feel free to ask your Tour Leader for the breakdown/distribution of the tips. Note that, if you have been very disappointed by a particular service, please inform your Tour Leader right away, and the tip will be adjusted accordingly.

Also, at the end of your trip, if you felt your G Adventures Tour Leader did an outstanding job, tipping is also expected and appreciated. The precise amount is entirely a personal preference, however $20-25 USD per person per week can be used as a general guideline.

 
Vaccinations

We legally cannot give you any medical advice. It is very important to consult your doctor or a travel clinic about which vaccinations you will need for your trip. Please take this seriously!

 
Flights

We often find the best prices for purchasing flights is 60 days before departure, but of course this varies greatly from route to route and year to year. You must wait until this trip is confirmed with the minimum number of required participants before you book your flights. Typically, we reach the minimum number needed at least 90 days before departure. GEEO and G Adventures bear no responsibility for any flights purchased before the trip is confirmed. You can find out whether this trip has been confirmed here.

Please double check our itinerary for the date by which you must arrive in Casablanca, which would usually mean departing the U.S. on the prior day. You can arrive at anytime you choose.

Your trip ends in Marrakech, although most flights to the U.S. will return via Casablanca. You have a few options:

You could book a multi-leg flight that arrives in Casablanca at the start of your trip and returns from Marrakech at the end. (Probably the best option. On my test search, using New York City as the departure city, I found this only added $80 to the price over a round trip to Casablanca)

For about $200 you can take a 40-minute flight from Marrakech to Casablanca. (I think you are better off with the options above and below this.)

For about $11 you can take a 3-hour train ride from Marrakech to Casablanca. They depart every 2 hours. You would also have to take a taxi from the train station to the airport. (This seems to be the cheapest option, but a bit inconvenient.)

 
Plugs and Converters

There are two components to provide external power to your device: adapters and transformers. The adapter is the plug, adapting the prongs on a standard U.S. two to three-pronged power cord to match the prongs required by the local outlets. The transformer changes the local voltage to that required by your device.

Morocco uses a European-style two circular prong plug. Their voltage is 220-240 Volts. U.S. outlets are 120 Volts. Most new devices (phones and laptops) can handle the different voltage rates, but some devices only work on the U.S. standard of 120V. Check your device to see what voltage range it handles. Most transformer blocks will have an “Input” line that defines its voltage capacity. For example, “Input: 100 – 240V” means that it will work on voltages from 100V to 240V. If your transformer can’t handle the different voltage, you’ll need to purchase a voltage converter. You can find world regional voltage converters power packs at various vendors.

 
Expectations

Before you decide on traveling with GEEO, it is important that you read all of the information about the program you are considering. Remember, our programs are quite adventurous.

  • The purpose of the accommodation is to provide a safe place for you to sleep. Sometimes you will be pleasantly surprised, but do not expect luxury. Sometimes the accommodation is not air conditioned.
  • You must be able to easily carry or roll your luggage, so do not over-pack.
  • Many of our programs occur in locations where it is very hot during the day. Please make sure you have thoroughly read the itinerary and can handle the group activities, which sometime include day hikes with your daypacks.
  • We recommend always carrying snacks with you as meals can be far apart.
  • Please make sure you understand the role of your tour leader on this trip as they are not the traditional “guide” you may be expecting. While our trips are educational, they aren’t study/lecture trips. We want you to learn through exploring, and much of your experience will be based on how active you choose to be in acquiring knowledge and interacting with locals.

Hopefully this is the kind of adventure you are interested in!

 
Itinerary Disclaimer

While it is our intention to adhere to the routes described on our website, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable, to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The information on our website is a general guide to the tour and region, and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

 
Advice From Past Participants

“I recommend asking your tour leader about the shopping opportunities throughout the trip. I found it hard to apportion out my spending money, because I didn’t know what might be coming up.”

“Some hotels are particular about not allowing guests to bring store-bought bottled water to their rooms because they want guests to buy it from them. The water needs to be hid in backpacks. “

“If anything, I would just add that there is a lot of walking. Most days it was not difficult, but there were long days. Also, if you are short like I am, some of the stairs are steep.”

“Some of the public bathrooms did not have toilet paper, so carrying a small roll is handy. As far as money goes, I needed way more small bills (especially change) than I had. The electrical outlets are all recessed into the wall so not all converters fit. You have to have a round one or one that is smaller than one and one half inches wide.”

“For luggage handling–even if it is on wheels, super large suitcases packed heavily can be difficult to carry up steps at hotels and takes up a lot of space in the back of the van. I had a backpack so it wasn’t a problem, but some of the others struggled with their luggage.”

“When I got on the camel, I thought that wearing long pants would be enough. They weren’t shorts, right? After riding both ways, I ended up with a “Charley camel” because my pants were not thick enough.”

“Do not rely on credit cards. Many places say they take cards, but when it comes to actually paying, they do not. Try to bring cash and a debit card only. “

“1) Bring a bathing suit!

2) The bug spray is for the nature walk

3) The train station in Marrakech is reliable and safe

4) In case you get to Casablanca early, know that you can and should barter for EVERYTHING. In fact, you probably shouldn’t buy anything until your guide has explained to you how this works. Prices can be 5x normal because you are American.

5) A good number of people you will encounter do not want to be photographed. Make sure you ask first. “

“The Rif Mountain hike (optional) was tough. It was hot, long, and you walk straight up. I was warned by our guide, but it was even harder than he said. You need to be in shape to do it. The hike up to the mountain gîte was also hard. It was more of a scramble at times – where you need your hands to help you climb. Half our group took a van – which was probably a good thing. The village was great though. “

“I ended up buying a lot of stuff at the cooperatives. While you know that you are getting good quality, you can find quality stuff for cheaper prices in places like Essaouira and Marrakech.”

“I didn’t have a hard time finding vegetarian foods! There is also a vegetarian restaurant in Marrakech. I suggest that you inform the local guide that you are vegetarian, and he will be able to help ask what has meat broth and what does not.”

 
Weather

The Coast of Morocco has a moderate, subtropical climate, cooled by breezes from the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. Inland, the temperatures can be quite extreme, getting very hot in the summer. In Marrakech, the average temperature in summer is a sizzling 100°F (38°C)! In mountainous areas (like the Atlas range), temperatures are cooler and some mountain peaks remain snow-capped throughout most of the year.

 
Food

Breakfasts:

Many breakfasts are included as part of your trip. Moroccan breakfasts tend to be different from your usual cereal and toast morning fare – most will be very simple, such as a croissant or sweet roll with jam and instant coffee. Some hotels will have buffets where you will have more variety. While you are experiencing what a Moroccan family would eat, some travelers do find the provided breakfasts a bit “bread heavy” and enjoy buying fruit the day before to supplement their breakfast.

Lunches and Dinners:

Moroccan cuisine is world famous, and your tour leader will be taking the chance to show you the best of it.

Staples include: cous cous, a type of grain, topped with stew; tagine, which is actually the name of the pot this tasty dish is cooked in; and brochette, the local variety of barbecued meat skewers. These dishes will generally cost between 45- 80 MAD, depending on the type of restaurant and which part of the country you are in.

Other tastes not to be missed include: pastilla, a sweet pasty with a savory filling and which is traditionally made with pigeon; and harira, a delicious soup made from chickpeas that is quite filling when paired with fresh bread. When you are on the coast, the fresh seafood cooked at one of the local markets is a must eat!

Snacks:

Morocco’s fresh orange juice is highly recommended, and you should not leave without trying a glass. The brave can try the tiny snails, which are perhaps the local’s favorite snack but you might prefer a cone of piping hot bite-size fried cake donuts.

 
Language

Arabic is the official language of Morocco, spoken in the distinctive Moroccan dialect. Approximately 40% of the population (mainly in rural areas) speak Berber in one of its three different dialects (Tarafit, Tashelhiyt, and Tamazight). French is Morocco’s unofficial second language and is taught universally, serving as the country’s primary language in economics and commerce, as well as being widely used in education and government. Many Moroccans in the north of the country speak Spanish, and English is widely spoken in tourist areas.

Costs

Please keep in mind that this trip offers some free time to pursue activities that interest you. Make sure you look over all of the optional activities and note these additional costs when deciding whether you can afford this program. Breakfasts and a few dinners are included in this trip, giving you the opportunity to eat out according to your own resources. The prices below are in U.S. Dollars and are rough estimates on which you can budget your trip.

Tour Company Fee

See our price in the top right corner

Optional Activities

$100-$500 USD

International Airfare from the U.S.

Roughly $950-$2,000 USD
If you require assistance in booking your international airfare, we would be happy to help you. 

Insurance

$25-$200 USD
Please note: it is mandatory for all of our travelers to have Emergency Medical insurance that covers both emergency evacuation and repatriation to the sum of $200,000 USD. We also strongly recommend purchasing cancellation insurance as well.

Tipping

About $300. $40-$50 for your tour leader, $40-$50 for your  driver,  $150-200 for other tips such as local guides, waiters, musicians, bathroom attendants, bell boys, waiters, etc. 

Meals Not Listed in the Itinerary

$390-$510 USD

Laundry, Drinks, Phone Calls, etc.

Make sure you budget for these types of expenses

Airport and Departure Taxes

This is usually included in your flight price.

Vaccines

$0-????

Visa

$0 USD for Americans, who don’t need a visa for travel in Morocco. If you are not American, please check with the Moroccan Embassy in your country or on your foreign ministry’s website.

Souvenirs

$0-????

Non-Educator Donation

$100 USD (Suggested donation)

This is only for non-educator guests traveling with an educator on a GEEO trip. Educators and retired educators should not make this donation.

Optional Activities

Most optional activities are booked and paid for locally in the local currency. You do not have to decide in advance for which activities you would like to sign up. The prices listed are based on the latest information we have received from our participants and G Adventures. They are not guaranteed to be accurate. Please use them as a rough guide for budgeting your trip.

Casablanca

Casablanca (for those who have time in the city before the trip starts) 
Hassan II Mosque (Sat to Thurs) 9:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 2:00 p.m. – 120 MAD 
Villa de Arts (Tues to Sat) – free 
Jewish Museum (Mon to Fri) – 30 MAD 

Fès

Traditional Moroccan 3 course dinner with folklore entertainment, in an old former palace in the medina – 300 MAD
Medersa bou inania – 10 MAD
Medersa el Attarine – 10 MAD
Dar batha museum (Wed to Mon) – 10 MAD
Belghazi museum – 20 MAD

Ait Ben Haddou

Cooking class 100 MAD, includes: dinner

Essaouira

Camel ride on beach at Essaouira Price: 29 Euros per person or 315 MAD, includes: riding camel, transfers from/to hotel
Surf lessons – 480-900 MAD, depending on length
Horse riding – 250 MAD 
Quad biking – 450 MAD
Kite Surfing – 35 MAD for 1 hr, 50 MAD for 2 hrs 
Surfing rental – 15 MAD for 1 hr, 20 MAD for 2 hrs, 25 MAD for 3 hrs, 30 MAD for 1 day
Boat excursion along the coast: 20 MAD for 1 hr 
All Essaouira activities are weather and season dependent.

Marrakech

Moroccan 3 course dinner and folklore entertainment in a traditional restaurant overlooking the famous Djemma el Fna Square – 400 MAD
Ali Ben Youssef Medersa – 40 MAD
Koubba Ba’adiyn – 40 MAD
Museum of Marrakech – 40 MAD
El Badi Palace – 10 MAD
Dar si Said – 10 MAD
Majorelle and Museum of Islamic Art – 50 MAD
Bicycle hire – 70-100 MAD per day

Photos